National Mathematics Day: Celebrating the Life and Achievement of Ramanujan

The National Mathematics Day is observed every year on December 22 to mark the birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan, who was a legendary Indian mathematician. The National Mathematics Day is celebrated to recognise Ramanujan’s works in the field of mathematics.

It is an occasion to remember great achievements by Ramanujan and understand the significance of mathematics in our daily life. Ramanujan’s contributions in the form of infinite series, number theory, mathematical analysis, etc. are considered instrumental towards the world of mathematics.

Developed a Keen Interest in Mathematics from Young Age

Srinivasa Ramanujan was born on December 22, 1887, in Erode, Tamil Nadu. He was born in a Tamil Brahmin Iyengar family. From the young age, Ramanujan developed a deep interest in mathematics.

Ramanujan finished secondary school in 1904 and was then eligible for a scholarship to study at the Government Arts College, Kumbakonam. Because of his less interest towards non-mathematical subjects in college, Ramanujan did not excel in other subjects and he failed exams due to his negligence.

Early Life Marked with Extreme Poverty and Less Means of Support

Ramanujan ran away from home and enrolled at Pachaiyappa’s College in Madras at the age of 14, here too he excelled only in mathematics and was unable to manage other subjects and so he did not finish the degree. Ramanujan started to pursue his own research in mathematics. But he was having a tough time during these days and was living in utter poverty.

Got Opportunity to Work to Sustain Life

In 1912, Ramaswamy Iyer, who was the founder of the Indian Mathematical Society, helped Ramanujan to get a clerk position at the Madras Port Trust to sustain himself and he continued his independent mathematical studies.

National Mathematics Day

Started Sending Work to Mathematicians and Professors Internationally

Ramanujan started to send his work to British mathematicians after coming in contact with some renowned mathematicians and professors in international universities. In 1913, Ramanujan went to Trinity College, Cambridge, with support from GH Hardy, who was very impressed by Ramanujan’s theorems.

Success at the Door Step: Got Recognition for Contribution to the Field of Mathematics

Now, slowly success started to reach Ramanujan. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1916. He was elected to be a member of the London Mathematical Society in 1917 and he also became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1918, he was the youngest to reach this esteemed position. Also, Ramanujan was the first Indian to become one of the fellow members of Trinity College.

On the occasion of National Mathematics Day 2022, it is important that we remember and honour Srinivasa Ramanujan’s contribution towards mathematics. Though he did not receive any formal education in mathematics, Ramanujan was a gifted mathematician and provided in-depth analyses to solve and analyse difficult mathematical problems by using new concepts and ideas. He provided solutions to all the unsolvable equations and presented his important mathematical analysis. He was known as ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity.’

National Mathematics Day

Ramanujan’s Contributions to Mathematics

Srinivasa Ramanujan made enormous contributions to the theory of numbers and mathematical functions. Ramanujan’s papers were published in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society in 1911.

Ramanujan’s discoveries impacted several areas of mathematics, such as, he theorized on divergent series, Riemann series, hypergeometric series, the elliptic integrals and the functional equations of the zeta function and he also discovered infinite series, mathematical analysis, number theory, continued fractions and even game theory. The number 1729 is known as the Hardy-Ramanujan number.

National Mathematics Day

Return to India Due to Health

Ramanujan’s health continued to deteriorate in England and he returned to India in 1919. He was not getting used to the diet pattern in England. He died in 1920 at the age of 32. His achievements and contributions in the field of mathematics are still highly regarded across the national and international levels.

Mathematicians are still trying to work on three notebooks left behind by Ramanujan that have pages containing unpublished results. In 2012, former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh declared December 22, the day of Ramanujan’s birth, to be celebrated as National Mathematics Day to pay rich tribute to the legendary Srinivasa Ramanujan.

Generate Awareness and Motivate Young Minds

The National Mathematics Day is celebrated across India to raise awareness about the importance of mathematics and to motivate the youth to develop creative and analytical attitude towards mathematics.

To celebrate the day, various schools, colleges and educational institutions across India conducts events and olympiads related to mathematics. The National Academy of Science India holds workshops to celebrate the day.

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